Thursday, May 12, 2016

11th May 2016 Daily Global,Regional & Local Rice -eNewsletter by Riceplus Magazine

12th May 2016 Daily Global,Regional & Local Rice -eNewsletter by Riceplus Magazine

3

·         day expo commences
·         Asia's decreasing rice output threatens food security
·         Pakistan. Governor assures solving problems of rice exporters
·         Rice basmati slides on muted demand; wheat edges up
·         Agricultural research facing state cuts
·         Rice Prices Stay Sideways Despite Severe Drought in Asia
·         Asia's Decreasing Rice Output Threatens Food Security
·         Rice price hike concern as output may be lower in second half
·         Weekly world market rice prices - USDA
·         Rice Market: Prevailing World Prices and Loan Deficiency Payment Rates
·         Warning signs of false dawn in food security
·         Spring paddy acreage to be expanded by 200k hectares
·         Rice and Ducks Propose Beefing-Up Conservation Efforts
·         WASDE Report Released
·         Rice farmers see a ‘regular, normal’ year
·         05/11/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report
·         USA Rice Conducts Rice Attitudes & Usage Study on Foodservice Industry
·         Pakistan cannot offer trade concessions to India unilaterally
·         Agriculture exports fell 10% in 2015-16
·         Pakistan says it cannot offer ‘unilateral’ trade concessions to India
·         Can’t offer unilateral trade concessions to India: Pakistan commerce minister
·         APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1470
·         Government wants students to learn climate-smart agriculture
·         NRRI Launches riceXpert App for Android to Help Rice Farmers
·         Field test on for 3 more GM crops
·         Labana Rice Farm: Biggest Rice Farm Along River Niger And Benue Valley
News Detail...
 3-day expo commences
KARACHI (NNI): Patron-in-Chief of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) and FPCCI’s Committee on Fair, Exhibition & Trade Delegations Chairman Abdur Raheem Janu inaugurated 10th Food Technology Asia International Exhibition at Karachi Expo Centre on Tuesday.

The exhibition showcases rice technology, plastic packaging & print and agriculture sector technologies.  It is for the first time that an exhibition is being organised with the view to strengthen Pakistan’s rice sector’s capacity, which, in turn, would produce better quality rice, and ultimately increase the export of rice.Major rice mills and other affiliated industry players visited the stalls from different countries, including Italy and Switzerland.

http://nation.com.pk/business/11-May-2016/newsbrief


Asia's decreasing rice output threatens food security

2016-05-12 11:24

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) -- Nearly a decade after a spike in global food prices sent shock waves around the world, Asia's top rice producers are suffering from a blistering drought that threatens to cut output and boost prices of a staple for half of the world's population, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
World rice production is expected to decline for the first time this year since 2010, as failing rains linked to an El Nino weather pattern cut down crop yields in Asia's rice bowl.
A heat wave is sweeping the top rice exporter India, while the second largest supplier Thailand, is facing a second year of drought.
Swathes of farmland in Vietnam, the third-biggest supplier, are also parched as irrigation fed by the Mekong River runs dry.
The three account for more than 60 per cent of the global rice trade. James Fell, an economist at the International Grains Council (IGC) said there has been no a large price reaction to hot and dry weather thanks to surplus stocks in India and Thailand. But that can't last forever.
Rice inventories in the three top exporters are set to fall to 19 million tonnes at the end of 2016, the biggest year-on-year drop since 2003, according to Reuters calculations based on US Department of Agriculture data.
According to Bruce Tolentino of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, in general prices are still stable right now. They're inching up though, and what will drive things over the edge will be a major calamity in one of the major producing countries, he said.
Although India's rice output in 2015 was largely stable, extremely hot temperatures are threatening a second crop in India.
Traders see further price gains by June as India's next big crop is not due until September and Thailand's main crop by year end.
The IGC sees a 2016 world harvest of 473 million tonnes, down from 479 million tonnes in 2015 and the first decline in six years.
Thailand's last main crop was only about half of the peak production a few years ago and the USDA has forecast output will drop by more than a fifth to 15.8 million tonnes this year.
Thai farmers were asked not to plant rice as there is little water in the reservoirs after two years of drought.
In Vietnam, output could fall 1.5 per cent this year to 44.5 million tonnes, while exports would be 8.7 million tonnes.
As much as 240,000 hectares of paddy have been destroyed by drought and salination in the central area and southern Mekong Delta region.
Against the backdrop, some Asian countries are already looking to raise imports.
Indonesia is expected to see 2016 purchases jump by more than 60 per cent to two million tonnes from a few years ago.
China, the world's top importer, taking about five million tonnes annually, is expected to continue this buying pace. IGC has forecast China's 2016 production will fall short of consumption for a third consecutive year.
The Philippines had the lowest stocks since October in March despite importing 750,000 tonnes and its procurement agency has standby authority to ship an additional 500,000 tonnes.
Philippine Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said although El Nino has entered its weakening stage, the risk of higher food prices remains given the onset of the summer season.
Rice price in early April hit US$389.50 per tonne, the strongest since July and up 13 per cent from an eight-year low of US$344 last September.
http://www.mysinchew.com/node/114099?tid=4#sthash.klYPI61e.dpuf

http://www.mysinchew.com/node/114099?tid=4


Pakistan. Governor assures solving problems of rice exporters

10.05.2016
Governor Sindh Dr.Ishrat ul Ebad Khan has said exporters of various goods have played a vital role in economy of Pakistan and due to their exports valuable addition is witnessed in national exchequer every year.This he said while talking to a 9-members delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) at Governor House here today. Principal Secretary to Governor Mr. Muhammad Hussain Syed was also present on the occasion.


Dr. Ebad said that agriculture was the back bone of Pakistan's economy as majority population is engaged with this sectors. Cotton, Rice, Sugar Cane, Mango, Citrus fruits and other crops have a pivotal contribution in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country as they employees millions of people, he observed.Governor Sindh that Rice is an important part of exports of Pakistan and basmati rice of Pakistan is renowned for its quality and taste worldwide. It also counts for sizeable amount of foreign exchange, he opined.


On pointation of dormant state of Rice Research Institute (RRI) Dokri district Larkana, Governor Sindh assured that all concerned would be called soon to know the reasons behind its ineffectiveness. RRI has a very important role in producing new varieties of Rice, which are not only cost effective but also have visible consumption due to their quality, he added.
On complaint of harassment from market committees, Governor Sindh asked Principal Secretary to examine the matter and resolve the same in consultation of all stake holders.

He said that after improvement of law and order situation in Karachi business community was engaged in their economic activities without any fear. Exporters would be provided all possible help and assistance to continue their exports, he assured. Governor Sindh commended the idea of holding a Biryani Festival and said that it would help in increasing rice exports.


Chief Patron of REAP Abdul Rahim Janoo informed Governor Sindh that the Association has 1600 members from which 850 belong to Sindh. Pakistani rice is exported to 117 countries of the world including China, he said and added that Punjab produces Basmati while Sindh has Irri rice in abundance.He lauded the efforts of Governor Sindh in maintaining law & order in Sindh and providing every possible facilities to business community.The delegation members included Senior Vice Chairman REAP Mr. Nauman Ahmed Shaikh, members managing Committee Mr. Javed Jilani, Mr. Inder Lal, Mr. Hamid Qureshi, Mr. Latif Paracha, Mr. Wajid Paracha, Rauf Aziz and Secretary Mr. Altaf Hussain.

http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/pakistan-governor-assures-solving-problems-of-rice-exporters

 

Rice basmati slides on muted demand; wheat edges up


PTI | May 11, 2016, 02.32 PM IST
New Delhi, May 11 () Rice basmati prices drifted lower by Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today owing to slackened demand. However, wheat traded a shade higher on increased offtake by flour mills. Traders said low demand against ample stocks in the market following increased supplies, kept pressure on rice baasmati prices.
They said, however, increased offtake by flour mills helped wheat prices to trade higher.
In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety eased by Rs 100 each to Rs 5,400-5500 and Rs 4,350-5,200 per quintal respectively.
On the other hand, wheat dara (for mills) rose by Rs 15 to Rs 1,640-1,645 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and traded higher by a similar margin to Rs 1,645-1,650 per 90 kg.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 1,850-2,100, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,640-1,645, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,645-1,650, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 265, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 265, Roller flour mill Rs 850-860 (50 kg), Maida Rs 930-950 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 980-990 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 5,400-5,500, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 4,350-5,200, Permal raw Rs 1,900-1,950, Permal wand Rs 2,075-2,125, Sela Rs 2,400-2,500 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,775-1,800, Bajra Rs 1,600-1,605, Jowar yellow Rs 1,800-1,900, white Rs 3,400-3,500, Maize Rs 1,450-1,460, Barley Rs 1,610-1,615. SUN KPS ADI MR
(This story has not been edited by timesofindia.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)


Agricultural research facing state cuts

By Breanna Molloy
LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter says they are facing serious budget cuts. The H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station is located in Rayne. They are one of 18 research centers across the state.
According to the LSU AgCenter, every dollar that the state has invested in research has led to $30 in farmers’ pockets. Dr. Dustin Harrell, an Extension Rice Specialist at the facility, says Clearfield Rice is an example of this investment.
Clearfield Rice is a breed of rice that was created at the Rice Research Station in 2002. The rice is resistant to red rice, a weed very similar to rice that often plagues farmers.  
“Clearfield technology was probably the biggest thing that’s ever happened in rice production,” said Dr. Harrell.
Clearfield Rice is now used around the world. According the research center, it has allowed farmers to switch from water planting to drill planting and it allows them to use less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Harrell says that funding the LSU AgCenter is what makes breakthroughs like Clearfield technology possible.
“The funding is really important to continue with the research that we’re doing and help the industry in our region,” says Dr. Harrell.
This is not the first time that the AgCenter has faced cuts. The stations are down 800 employees compared to eight years ago and two stations have already been closed. 
http://www.katc.com/story/31941900/agricultural-research-facing-state-cuts

Rice Prices Stay Sideways Despite Severe Drought in Asia

May 10, 2016 10:35 AM
 
A severe drought that is threatening Asia’s top rice producers and drying up the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia has exerted only limited impact on prices, thanks to last year’s huge rice surplus, according to officials. “Despite El Nino hurting crops for the largest exporters of rice in the world, there has been little price increase,” observed Nathan Childs, an agricultural economist with USDA.  Unlike other grains, rice is not traded on a global exchange, and many purchases are between governments or private parties, Childs explained.

Rice (Grade B, Bangkok) from Thailand, the world’s second largest producer, was trading at $3.93, down from a high of $4, but up from a low of $3.80 on April 15, according to U.S. officials and the International Grains Council.Weather is affecting the current crop.  El Nino has parched farmland across India, Thailand and Vietnam. The three account for more than 60% of the global rice trade of about 43 million tons.The weather pattern is also worsening a water shortage caused by the number of hydroelectric dams being built along the Mekong, a 3,000-mile river that runs from China to Thailand to the South China Sea. According to the United Nations, the Mekong is now at its lowest level in a century.

For Asian farmers, for whom the Mekong River’s flow and sediments are critically important to their farming, the result is the first drop in rice production since 2010.Northeast Thailand is in very bad shape,” said Richard Cronin, director of the Southeast Asia program at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. “It’s politically sensitive (as well with) the countryside versus Bangkok.”Meanwhile, as the two sides fight, the dams are destroying the ecology of the river, according to Cronin.The situation could impact a major rice-growing region. The Mekong River countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar produce about 63 million metric tons of rice, or 13% of global output, according to USDA.

The IGC expects the 2016 rice harvest to fall 6 MMT, to 473 MMT, down from 479 MMT in 2015.  However, last year’s crops are expected to cover shortfalls, as some Asian countries gear up to import more rice, according to officials.USDA lowered the 2016 global production forecast by 0.5 million tons to 470.6 million tons in April, nearly 2% below last year and the smallest in four years. It also said global consumption would outpace production by 14.0 MMT, with global ending stocks falling for the third year in a row to 13 percent to 90.2 cwt tons.Could this help U.S. rice farmers? Probably not—at least for now.

Despite the growing problems in Asia, where rice had been a staple for centuries, American producers are unlikely to find opportunity there. Instead, the region’s big producers of Thailand and Vietnam will likely cover the growing demand from Asia’s rice importers; the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Why? Because only farmers in California export the rice variety preferred in Asia. Most American farmers export unmilled rice, also known as rough rice, to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean under NAFTA. According to USDA, 10% of U.S. rice exports go to Haiti.
In the U.S., rice is trading at about $5.10, according to USDA officials
http://www.agweb.com/article/rice-prices-stay-sideways-despite-severe-drought-in-asia-naa-debra-beachy/

Asia's Decreasing Rice Output Threatens Food Security


KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) -- Nearly a decade after a spike in global food prices sent shockwaves around the world, Asia's top rice producers are suffering from a blistering drought that threatens to cut output and boost prices of a staple for half of the world's population, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

World rice production is expected to decline for the first time this year since 2010, as failing rains linked to an El Nino weather pattern cut down crop yields in Asia's rice bowl.

A heat wave is sweeping the top rice exporter India, while the second largest supplier Thailand, is facing a second year of drought.

Swathes of farmland in Vietnam, the third-biggest supplier, are also parched as irrigation fed by the Mekong River runs dry.

The three account for more than 60 per cent of the global rice trade.

James Fell, an economist at the International Grains Council (IGC) said there has been no a large price reaction to hot and dry weather thanks to surplus stocks in India and Thailand. But that can't last forever.

Rice inventories in the three top exporters are set to fall to 19 million tonnes at the end of 2016, the biggest year-on-year drop since 2003, according to Reuters calculations based on US Department of Agriculture data.

According to Bruce Tolentino of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, in general prices are still stable right now.

They're inching up though, and what will drive things over the edge will be a major calamity in one of the major producing countries, he said.

Although India's rice output in 2015 was largely stable, extremely hot temperatures are threatening a second crop in India.

Traders see further price gains by June as India's next big crop is not due until September and Thailand's main crop by year end.

The IGC sees a 2016 world harvest of 473 million tonnes, down from 479 million tonnes in 2015 and the first decline in six years.

Thailand's last main crop was only about half of the peak production a few years ago and the USDA has forecast output will drop by more than a fifth to 15.8 million tonnes this year.

Thai farmers were asked not to plant rice as there is little water in the reservoirs after two years of drought.

In Vietnam, output could fall 1.5 per cent this year to 44.5 million tonnes, while exports would be 8.7 million tonnes.

As much as 240,000 hectares of paddy have been destroyed by drought and salination in the central area and southern Mekong Delta region.

Against the backdrop, some Asian countries are already looking to raise imports.

Indonesia is expected to see 2016 purchases jump by more than 60 per cent to two million tonnes from a few years ago.

China, the world's top importer, taking about five million tonnes annually, is expected to continue this buying pace. IGC has forecast China's 2016 production will fall short of consumption for a third consecutive year.

The Philippines had the lowest stocks since October in March despite importing 750,000 tonnes and its procurement agency has standby authority to ship an additional 500,000 tonnes.

Philippine Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said although El Nino has entered its weakening stage, the risk of higher food prices remains given the onset of the summer season.

Rice price in early April hit US$389.50 per tonne, the strongest since July and up 13 per cent from an eight-year low of US$344 last September.

BERNAMA

http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1244616

 

Rice price hike concern as output may be lower in second half

HO CHI MINH CITY, 11 May 2016: 
Nearly a decade after a spike in global food prices sent shockwaves around the world, Asia’s top rice producers are suffering from a blistering drought that threatens to cut output and boost prices of a staple for half of the world’s population, Vietnam News Agency reported.World rice production is expected to decline for the first time this year since 2010, as failing rains linked to an El Nino weather pattern cut down crop yields in Asia’s rice bowl.A heat wave is sweeping the top rice exporter India, while the second largest supplier Thailand, is facing a second year of drought.
Swathes of farmland in Vietnam, the third-biggest supplier, are also parched as irrigation fed by the Mekong River runs dry.The three account for more than 60% of the global rice trade.
James Fell, an economist at the International Grains Council (IGC) said there has been no a large price reaction to hot and dry weather thanks to surplus stocks in India and Thailand.
But that can’t last forever.
Rice inventories in the three top exporters are set to fall to 19 million tonnes at the end of 2016, the biggest year-on-year drop since 2003, according to Reuters calculations based on US Department of Agriculture data.
Bruce Tolentino of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, said prices in general are still stable right now.
They’re inching up though, and what will drive things over the edge will be a major calamity in one of the major producing countries, he said.
Although India’s rice output in 2015 was largely stable, extremely hot temperatures are threatening a second crop in India.
Traders see further price gains by June as India’s next big crop is not due until September and Thailand’s main crop by year end.
The IGC sees a 2016 world harvest of 473 million tonnes, down from 479 million tonnes in 2015 and the first decline in six years.
Thailand’s last main crop was only about half of the peak production a few years ago and the USDA has forecast output will drop by more than a fifth to 15.8 million tonnes this year.
Thai farmers were asked not to plant rice as there is little water in the reservoirs after two years of drought.
In Vietnam, output could fall 1.5% this year to 44.5 million tonnes, while exports would be 8.7 million tonnes.
As much as 240,000 hectares of paddy have been destroyed by drought and salination in the central area and southern Mekong Delta region.
Against the backdrop, some Asian countries are already looking to raise imports.
Indonesia is expected to see 2016 purchases jump by more than 60% to two million tonnes from a few years ago.
China, the world’s top importer, taking about five million tonnes annually, is expected to continue this buying pace. IGC has forecast China’s 2016 production will fall short of consumption for a third consecutive year.
The Philippines had the lowest stocks since October in March despite importing 750,000 tonnes and its procurement agency has standby authority to ship an additional 500,000 tonnes.
Philippine economic planning secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said although El Nino has entered its weakening stage, the risk of higher food prices remains given the onset of the summer season.
Rice price in early April hit US$389.50 per tonne, the strongest since July and up 13% from an eight-year low of US$344 last September.

 

Weekly world market rice prices - USDA

5/11/2016
May 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department's
Commodity Credit Corporation announced the following world
market prices of milled and rough rice.
The data is adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location,
and the resulting marketing loan gain (MLG) and loan deficiency
payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2015 crop.
Rough rice prices increased, by $0.14 per cwt for long grain
and by $0.15 per cwt for medium/short grain, from the previous
announcement.
The next rice report will be released on Wednesday, May 18.
--------World Price------- MLG/LDP Rate
Milled Value Rough Rough
($/cwt) ($/cwt) ($/cwt)
Long Grain 14.88 9.54 0.00
Medium/Short 14.51 9.63 0.00
Grain
Brokens 8.98 ----- ----
This week's prevailing world market prices and MLG/LDP
rates are based on the following U.S. milling yields and the
corresponding loan rates:
U.S. Milling Yields Loan Rate
Whole/Broken
(lbs/cwt) ($/cwt)
Long Grain 56.41/12.76 6.60
Medium/Short 59.91/10.45 6.45
Grain
LINKS:
* CBOT rice futures prices <0#RR:>
* USDA weekly rice export highlights
* USDA weekly rice crop progress
* Reuters top commodities stories
(Washington commodities desk, 202 898 8376)
© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Click For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
http://www.agriculture.com/content/weekly-world-market-rice-prices-usda-7

Rice Market: Prevailing World Prices and Loan Deficiency Payment Rates


From USDA May 11, 2016
The Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the following prevailing world market prices of milled and rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location, and the resulting marketing loan gain (MLG) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2015 crop, which will become effective today at 7:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET). Rough rice prices increased $0.14 per cwt for long grain and $0.15 per cwt for medium/short grain.
Click Image to Enlarge
This week’s prevailing world market prices and MLG/LDP rates are based on the following U.S. milling yields and the corresponding loan rates:
The next program announcement is scheduled for May 18, 2016.
http://agfax.com/2016/05/11/rice-market-prevailing-world-prices-and-loan-deficiency-payment-rates/

Warning signs of false dawn in food security

By Paul P.S. Teng - 12 May 2016 @ 11:02 AM




Food security, as a matter of national concern, cannot be considered in isolation from the broader economic, social and physical environments. In recent years, many countries have experienced slower economic growth, affecting disposable income levels and, consequently, consumer spending and food consumption patterns. The physical environment has, likewise, experienced challenges from climate events and continued loss of arable land and freshwater resources. During the same period, many food commodity prices have also fallen. While this makes food more affordable, it also reduces farm incomes and reduces investment in infrastructure and technology needed to improve overall productivity. A vicious cycle may ensue in which reduced productivity can further reduce farm incomes and a country’s agricultural competitiveness.

That there has been no discernible challenge to food security in the recent past should not be taken to mean that Asean countries have become food secure. In a new normal, Asean, particularly, and Asia, generally, has shown slower economic growth which affected the incomes of many of those who are food insecure. But, with lower commodity prices, food prices generally had also declined. This situation, however, could potentially be a false dawn if events cause food prices to rise irrespective of economic trends and households again have to endure food insecurity.
An index that tracks food security relative to macro-factors is the Rice Bowl Index (RBI) ©, which provides a measure of a country’s ability to withstand disturbances to its food security dimensions — availability, physical and economic access, utilisation and stability. The latest RBI © Report, “New Norm or False Dawn” released late last year, showed that over the preceding 12 months, food security robustness of Asean countries had generally improved, but at a slower pace than in previous years.

The RBI further concluded that last year, while Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia may be considered as relatively robust in their food security preparedness, other Asean countries were not, namely the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. Most Asean countries cannot afford to fall into a complacency trap because there has been no threat of any supply disruption in the recent past. Certainly, the vulnerability of countries, such as Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, to any prolonged supply shutdown of an important food item remains real.

Many threats remain to destabilise food availability in the short term, while over the mid to long term, challenges linked to climate change affect the ability of countries to be food secure. Warning signs indicate that for critically important food to Asia, such as rice, the “new norm” may be a transient one and become a “false dawn” even faster than expected. The International Rice Research institute (IRRI), in an early 2016 report, showed that while global rice commodity prices have declined in consecutive years since 2013, the huge stocks of yesteryears have also declined sharply, especially in the top exporting countries of Thailand, Vietnam and India. By the third quarter of 2016, the combined rice stocks of India and Thailand have been projected by IRRI to be around 70 per cent lower than in 2013 (a peak of 41 million tonnes).

The same IRRI report has warned of the impending effects of El Nino, expressed through exceptionally dry periods, to lower rice yields. So, the near term is likely to see a tight supply situation, with a reminder that there could be a repeat of the 2007- 2008 price hikes, which precipitated general food availability crises and civil disobedience in more than 30 countries.The false dawn may be further amplified through a possible La Nina effect of excessive moisture causing flooding later this year.
So, going into 2017, much will depend on whether the upcoming rice growing seasons will be affected by unexpected severe weather events, and how governments respond to them. Governments will need to keep their food security situation balanced by a broader view and not overreact to temporary price hikes or supply disruptions. Within Asean, the countries that can impact greatly on others from the actions they take are Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam by virtue of population and agricultural production.

Thailand and Vietnam play important roles in global rice supply and are therefore barometers of preparedness to meet expected threats to rice security. India, the other big rice exporter, portends a worrisome situation caused by uncertainty about the upcoming wet (monsoon) season crop. The performance of this rice crop may well decide if India continues to export rice.In the short term, rice-eating countries, in particular, need to do forward planning and take anticipatory action. One such action is to ensure that their rice stocks are sufficient to buffer any short term (six to nine months) disruption to the rice supply chain. Forward contracts on supply may not be as helpful if there is a global rice shortage, however, transient.

The current situation of relatively low commodity and food prices suggests that there is a “food security dividend”. This can be derived by governments from improving the preparedness of infrastructure, technologies and farming communities to respond to expected and impending challenges. Climate change adaptation measures, such as the development of Climate Smart Agriculture practices like drought-tolerant or submergence-tolerant crop varieties, need to be given high priority. Accompanying this is the needed improvement in the ease of doing business to facilitate investments, and increased utilisation of mobile technology such as those championed by Accenture © for improving farm and farmer productivity for proactive action and also responses to emergencies or calamities.

Paul P.S. Teng is professor and principal officer, NIE, and adjunct senior fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Rice Bowl Index
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According to the 2015 Rice Bowl Index report, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia are relatively robust in their food security preparedness compared with other Asean countries
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/05/145153/warning-signs-false-dawn-food-security

Spring paddy acreage to be expanded by 200k hectares
The government has planned to provide farmers an incentive of Rs5,000 per hectare each to encourage them to grow paddy
May 12, 2016- The government has planned to expand the acreage of Chaite Dhan (spring paddy) by 200,000 hectares in a bid to increase output and make the country self-reliant in food grain.According to the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the government has accorded priority to boosting the production of both summer and spring crops. Dilaram Bhandari, director of the Crop Development Directorate (CDD), said they had aimed to increase the spring crop acreage to an additional 350,000 hectares having round-the-year irrigation facilities.
The country possesses 1.42 million hectares of land suitable for growing paddy. However, spring paddy is planted on only 112,000 hectares.

Bhandari said the ministry was planning to increase the spring crop acreage to 300,000 hectares. “The ministry has also planned to use improved technology and seeds of both types of paddy,” he said.Most farmers do not prefer spring paddy which has a larger grain. However, it has a higher productivity than regular paddy. According to the directorate, the productivity of spring paddy is 4 tonnes per hectare compared to 3.17 tonnes for regular paddy.The country produced 4.5 million tonnes of paddy last year. As per government statistics, there is a deficit of 1.2 million tonnes.Yuvak Dhoj GC, director general of the Department of Agriculture, said the government had given priority to spring paddy to address the short supply of the cereal. According to him, production can be increased by 20 percent by planting the improved seeds.
Paddy output has dropped sharply this year due to poor rainfall. “As a result, many farmers have abandoned paddy cultivation,” said GC.The National Agriculture Research Centre (Narc) has recommended seed varieties like Chaite-2, Chaite-4 and Hardinath-1.The government has planned to provide farmers an incentive of Rs5,000 per hectare each to encourage them to grow paddy.According to the CDD, the government will be providing the subsidy for 5,000 hectares of land in 15 districts. The government has targeted to expand the programme to 22 districts by next year.

Similarly, the government is providing a 50 percent subsidy on spring crop seeds while Nepal Food Corporation will fix the price and purchase the harvests from farmers.
CDD Director Bhandari said the corporation had been reluctant to buy spring crops as they could contain moisture during harvest time.Meanwhile, the International Rice Research Institute has expanded the distribution of the improved paddy seeds to 21 districts that are considered to be food insecure. The paddy can be grown on dry as well as wet land, according to the institute.
Bhava Prasad Tripathi, senior officer at the institute, said they had launched the programme in eight districts in the Tarai and 13 district in the hills.
They are Banke, Bardiya, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Dang, Kapilvastu, Jhapa, Morang, Baitadi, Doti, Dadeldhura, Achham, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rolpa, Salyan, Pyuthan, Palpa, Arghakhanchi and Gulmi.
Author Name: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/

Rice and Ducks Propose Beefing-Up Conservation Efforts
By Peter Bachmann
 WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited (DU) Rice Stewardship Partnership jointly submitted or supported three proposals that request funding through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
The Rice Stewardship Partnership is looking to build off the successes that have already been accomplished through the National Rice RCPP project, Sustaining the Future of Rice, funded in 2015 across all six rice-growing states.  The existing project uses NRCS programs, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to help accomplish the goals of improving irrigation water efficiency and further improving water quality.
 USA Rice is taking the lead on the Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship Program, focusing on water quantity, sustaining wildlife habitat, improving water quality, addressing climate change, and saving energy in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. In addition to offering appropriate practices/enhancements for producers across the entire conservation adoption spectrum, innovations in the project offer farmers the option to enter the carbon market by adopting advanced Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation methods.
 "We're excited about this innovative proposal that would provide EQIP and CSP funding for rice farmers of all irrigation management complexities," said USA Rice Stewardship Partnership Coordinator Josh Hankins.  "This specific proposal would offer NRCS financial assistance to rice farmers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Northeast/Central Louisiana where rice is most heavily grown in the U.S."
 DU headed up a proposal, the Gulf Coast Water and Wetlands Conservation project, focused on the region's prairies, marshes, and bays that will address insufficient water quantity and wildlife habitat using EQIP and CSP as conservation implementation tools.  Improvements will also be sought in water quality and energy savings by utilizing irrigation efficiencies and groundwater conservation.
 "This Gulf-based project will be important to continue the momentum from a previously-funded rice RCPP project based solely in Southwest Louisiana," said Louisiana rice farmer and Rice Stewardship Partnership co-chair Jeff Durand.  "Since the BP oil spill in 2010, wetland habitat and water quality have been more important than ever, and we as rice farmers have the ability to make even stronger, and more positive impacts on the quality of water that's coming into and leaving our fields in Texas and Southwest Louisiana if this project is funded."
 The final proposal submitted was for the Prairie Conservation Reservoir that would be built by the Lower Colorado River Authority in Eagle Lake, Texas.  This reservoir would help provide critically-needed irrigation water to more than 50,000 acres of ricelands and provide habitat for waterfowl and other water birds.  The project was submitted last year but not funded so the managing partners revised it to again push for financial assistance from the NRCS to save 20,000 acre-feet of water/year within the Lakeside Irrigation District and increase water availability during drought years to the rice industry.  Unlike the other projects, this proposal would use a smaller portion of its funding for on-farm conservation practices through EQIP.
 Each of the three project proposals have more than 20 contributing partners who have pledged close to $30 million in matching contributions which will complement the $30 million in financial assistance requested from NRCS across the five Southern rice-growing states.
 Hankins says USA Rice is looking forward to continuing the partnership with DU and other important supporters to implement voluntary, incentive-based conservation practices across hundreds of thousands of ricelands in the U.S.
 Pre-proposals that are invited to submit full proposals will be announced by USDA in July 2016.

WASDE Report Released

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. 2016/17 all rice production is forecast at 231 million cwt, up 38.7 million cwt from the previous year and the largest since 2010/11. The increase reflects larger area and a higher yield. Long grain harvested area is forecast at 2.4 million acres, up 32 percent from the previous year and the largest in six years. Combined medium- and short-grain harvested area is forecast at 60,000 acres, down 17 percent from 2015/16 due to a sharp reduction in southern medium-grain planted area. The yield increase for both classes of rice reflects a return to trend. Total U.S. 2016/17 all rice supplies are forecast to increase 13 percent from the previous year. Long grain supplies are up, while medium- and short-grain
supplies are down.

U.S. 2016/17 total use is projected at 248 million cwt, up 12 percent from the previous year with both domestic and residual use and exports projected higher. Long-grain exports for 2016/17 are forecast at 81 million cwt, up 12 million from the previous year and the largest in more than a decade. Combined medium- and short-grain exports are forecast at 32 million cwt, up 1 million cwt from 2015/16. Despite increased domestic use and exports, 2016/17 all rice ending stocks are forecast to rise 7 million cwt to 50.4 million. Long-grain stocks are forecast at 38.0 million cwt, up 15.5 million cwt from the previous year and the largest since 1985/86. Combined medium- and short-grain ending stocks are forecast down 8.5 million cwt to 10.5 million. The 2016/17 all rice season-average price is forecast at $11.30 to $12.30 per cwt; down $0.60 at the midpoint the previous year.

Global 2016/17 rice production is forecast at a record 480.7 million tons and total supply at 587.1 million tons, up 2.3 million from the previous year. Total global rice consumption is forecast at 480.5 million tons, up 2.1 million tons from the previous year's revised level and a record. Reductions in historical domestic use estimates are made for several countries, most importantly for China and Thailand, that led to lower global domestic use and increased ending stocks. World exports are forecast at 40.7 million tons, down 700,000 tons from 2015/16 and the second consecutive decline. Thailand and India show the largest year-over-year export reductions. Global ending stocks of 106.7 million tons are up fractionally from 2015/16.

Read the entire report here.
Crop Progress:  2016 Crop 82 Percent Planted 

WASHINGTON, DC -- Eighty-two percent of the nation's 2016 rice acreage is planted, according to yesterday's U.S. Department of Agriculture's Crop Progress Report.  Sixty-seven percent of the 2016 crop has emerged and forty-nine percent is in good to excellent condition. 

Rice Planted, Selected States 
Week Ending
State
May 8, 2015
May 1, 2016
May 8, 2016
2011-2015 average
Percent
Arkansas
80
87
93
72
California
64
15
40
38
Louisiana
92
        81
88
94
Mississippi 
77
69
80
66
Missouri
63
94
98
63
Texas
74
79
86
89
Six States
77
72
82
68

Rice farmers see a ‘regular, normal’ year


Issue Date: May 11, 2016
By Ching Lee
Butte County rice farmer Josh Sheppard readies equipment to be moved to a different field during land preparation before planting. Throughout the Sacramento Valley, farmers are busy planting a more-typical amount of rice acreage this year, after reductions the last two years due to water shortages.
Photo/Ching Lee
An agricultural airplane flies over a flooded rice field in Butte County during planting.
Photo/Ching Lee
Thanks to improved rainfall and recovering reservoirs, farmers in Northern California say they are back to planting a more-normal amount of rice this season, after water shortages forced them to reduce production the last two years.But the additional plantings come as the global rice market is struggling, with large supplies weighing down prices and farmers in more parts of the world growing medium-grain rice, directly competing with California farmers.
Concerns about rice prices have not slowed planting activities in the Sacramento Valley, though. All across the region, growers are "going six ways from Sunday and working every single field," said Sean Doherty, who farms rice in Colusa, Sutter and Yolo counties."We're back to a regular, normal year," he said.Despite periodic rain in recent weeks, Butte County grower Josh Sheppard said he's happy with the progress he's made, noting that rain is normal during planting and that the downpours have not caused significant delays. He said he expects to be finished by the end of the week.

Fields that had been taken out of production for the last year or two have had a good rest and are "working up beautifully," Doherty said, allowing him to do fewer tillage passes. He said he's expecting better weed control and good yields in those fields. Having to do less tillage is a cost saving, "which is nice because the price of rice is abysmal," he added.The softening market is "very heavy on the minds of producers," Sheppard said. Much of the land on which he farms is best suited for rice production and will remain in rice despite the lower prices, he noted.After fallowing 30 percent of his acreage last year due to lack of water, Sutter County rice farmer Walt Trevethan said he's planting all of his ground this year. That has allowed him to keep his employees working longer, whereas their hours were cut short last year during planting and harvest.
"The biggest concern is the market," he said. "If we're going to have wall-to-wall rice and the market is already weak, what's it going to do when all this rice is harvested?"
Doherty said warehouse space for the incoming crop could be a problem this fall, but he added that he's "hopeful there'll be some sales and the issue will be alleviated by summertime."
Higher prices for medium-grain rice in recent years and reduced plantings in California attracted competition from farmers in other rice-producing regions around the U.S. and the world to fill the gap, said Chris Crutchfield, president and CEO of American Commodity Co. in Williams. Until recently, the higher-value dollar also slowed U.S. exports, and for California rice, it was particularly problematic in lower-income markets such as the Middle East.
Now, with full planting returning to the Sacramento Valley and significant stocks from 2014 and 2015, Crutchfield said there will be "a lot of inventory" to work through and marketers will have to "use price as a mechanism to buy our way back into the markets that we've lost to competition from alternative origins."
Farmers in Southern states such as Arkansas and Louisiana who traditionally have grown long-grain rice switched to growing more medium grain, as did farmers in India, Southeast Asia and Europe, creating competition for California in the Middle East and the Oceania markets, he noted. While the South has scaled back its medium-grain plantings this year, Crutchfield said California still faces significant competition from around the world.
"For the last couple of years, the global marketplace has been consuming medium-grain Japonica rice from a whole lot of different origins that in the past had not been available," he said.
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are considered "rock-solid" export markets for California rice, Crutchfield said, but he noted that Taiwan bought no rice from the Golden State in the last two years. It fulfilled its World Trade Organization minimum import quota for U.S. rice, but the purchases all came from Southern states. Japan and South Korea were California's largest export markets in 2015.
"I think we'll get that market back, but we have to get it back by selling at prices that the South would sell rice for," he said.
Meanwhile, other big markets in the Middle East have been turning to regions such as India and Russia for their rice, Crutchfield said. He noted that California used to market 150,000 to 200,000 tons of rice to Turkey, but last year sold fewer than 5,000 tons there. These "highly price-sensitive" markets now have "a whole grocery basket of places to buy rice from, when not that long ago it was essentially Australia, California and, to a certain extent, Egypt," he added.
Colusa County rice farmer Joe Carrancho said while having a full allocation of water this year is great and he has planted all of his acres, lower market prices for rice and higher wage costs for employees have forced to him cut about a third of the custom work he used to do for other farmers.
"I'm not running near as many men because I can't afford it. I sure can't afford to work them overtime," he said. "I can't raise my prices because there's no way these farmers can afford to pay it when rice is so cheap right now."
What has helped, he said, is that the price of fuel has come down.
Doherty said it's not just the rice market that has retreated, pointing to lower prices in other agricultural commodities such as nuts, tomatoes, wheat, corn, alfalfa and other forages.
But rice farmers agree that being able to plant more acres this year has allowed other support businesses in their communities to bounce back—from rice mills and aerial applicators to tractor dealers and seed sellers. More rice acreage also means more habitat and food for wild birds this fall.
"We're looking forward to growing the big feast for the birds—and seeing more of them in the countryside again," Doherty said.
(Ching Lee is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at clee@cfbf.com.)
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item
http://agalert.com/story/?id=9637

05/11/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report

Soybeans

High
Low
Cash Bids
1079
1016
New Crop
1078
1013


Riceland Foods


Cash Bids
Stuttgart: - - -
Pendleton: - - -
New Crop
Stuttgart: - - -
Pendleton: - - -


Futures:

SOYBEANS


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16
1082.25
1065.50
1069.75
-6.25
Jul '16
1091.00
1073.00
1078.25
-5.75
Aug '16
1092.50
1075.00
1080.25
-5.25
Sep '16
1081.50
1065.25
1071.75
-3.25
Nov '16
1075.00
1058.25
1066.00
-1.50
Jan '17
1072.00
1057.00
1063.25
-1.25
Mar '17
1048.25
1035.00
1042.75
+4.25
May '17
1037.25
1026.00
1035.25
+8.25
Jul '17
1037.25
1025.50
1035.25
+8.00

Soybean Comment

Soybeans closed lower today as the market continues to dig into yesterdays bullish report. Record crush and export numbers for soybeans are a lofty goal for this year given large global supplies and the uncertainty surrounding the overall economy. Soybeans will need a strong export sales report to fuel further gains as the market remains oversold and due a correction.



Wheat

High
Low
Cash Bids
471
426
New Crop
471
446


Futures:

WHEAT


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16
454.00
452.00
449.50
-2.00
Jul '16
464.75
456.75
459.00
-2.25
Sep '16
475.00
467.25
469.25
-2.75
Dec '16
493.50
485.25
487.25
-3.25
Mar '17
510.00
500.75
503.00
-5.25
May '17
518.25
510.50
513.00
-4.75
Jul '17
522.25
515.25
518.00
-3.50
Sep '17
526.75
526.75
527.50
-2.50
Dec '17
544.75
538.75
544.25
-0.50

Wheat Comment

Wheat prices continued their recent slide as July wheat remains a few cents off of contract lows. There remains little positives for wheat from a fundamental perspective as weak demand and large supplies point towards a bearish wheat market. From a technical point wheat is moving into oversold territory which could provide support for prices to maintain current contract lows.



Grain Sorghum

High
Low
Cash Bids
351
341
New Crop
318
292




Corn

High
Low
Cash Bids
398
368
New Crop
385
374


Futures:

CORN


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16
381.00
371.75
374.00
-4.50
Jul '16
383.25
375.25
377.50
-3.50
Sep '16
385.25
377.25
380.25
-2.50
Dec '16
389.75
382.25
385.50
-2.25
Mar '17
398.25
390.50
393.75
-3.00
May '17
403.25
395.75
398.75
-3.50
Jul '17
408.00
400.50
403.00
-4.25
Sep '17
400.75
397.25
399.50
-2.75
Dec '17
405.25
399.75
402.50
-2.25

Corn Comment

Corn prices closed lower today as the market continues to digest yesterdays report. While the USDA is forecasting strong growth in corn demand, the market is likely to be burdened with near record production this year. Given the current good start to the crop, production could potentially increase if the weather holds. Corn prices are likely to remain volatile as the soybean market continues to adjust to the current forecast.



Cotton
Futures:

COTTON


High
Low
Last
Change





Jul '16
61.75
60.55
60.6
-0.3
Oct '16
61.45
61.14
61.11
-0.37
Dec '16
61.38
60.48
60.58
-0.33

Cotton Comment

Cotton futures were lower across the board again today. The monthly WASDE report showed the largest ending stocks in eight years for the 16-17 crop year. That is based upon the March prospective plantings of 9.6 million acres and expectations for relatively favorable growing conditions resulting in average yields of 807 lbs. per acre for a total crop of 14.8 million bales. However, global stocks are projected to decline 6.2% as China releases low-cost, low-quality cotton from their stockpile. December closed below trendline support today and could head back toward support just above 59 cents.



Rice

High
Low
Long Grain Cash Bids
- - -
- - -
Long Grain New Crop
- - -
- - -


Futures:

ROUGH RICE


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16


1126.5
+9.5
Jul '16
1150.0
1130.0
1149.0
+9.0
Sep '16
1161.5
1148.5
1164.5
+8.5
Nov '16
1171.5
1160.0
1174.0
+5.5
Jan '17
1186.0
1186.0
1188.5
+7.5
Mar '17


1206.0
+8.0
May '17


1228.5
+8.0

Rice Comment

Rice futures ended higher again today. The WASDE report showed global stocks declining from 114.38 million metric tons to 106.43 million metric tons for the 15-16 marketing year, and stocks holding steady at that level for 16-17. The market will be watching crop progress closely. Currently, USDA says 82% of the crop is now in the ground and 67% is emerged. Arkansas farmers have 93% of the intended acres already planted, with 82% emerged. This large crop could limit the upside potential of the market, however, dry conditions in other rice growing regions of the world could provide support. The first level of resistance for July is the recent high of $11.55 1/2.



Cattle
Futures:

Live Cattle:

LIVE CATTLE


High
Low
Last
Change





Jun '16
124.025
122.425
122.825
-0.450
Aug '16
120.100
118.775
119.325
-0.450
Oct '16
119.400
118.125
118.650
-0.400
Dec '16
118.825
117.525
118.075
-0.425
Feb '17
117.850
116.525
117.175
-0.375
Apr '17
116.650
115.450
115.925
-0.325
Jun '17
109.900
108.975
109.500
0.000
Aug '17
108.100
107.450
107.800
+0.300

Feeders:

FEEDER CATTLE


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16
151.000
147.975
149.000
-1.200
Aug '16
152.200
148.375
149.275
-1.050
Sep '16
150.850
147.075
148.175
-0.950
Oct '16
149.275
145.725
146.825
-0.850
Nov '16
145.000
141.750
142.350
-1.200
Jan '17
140.000
137.275
138.225
-0.900
Mar '17
138.000
137.500
137.350
+0.100
Apr '17


136.700
+0.100

Cattle Comment

Cattle prices closed lower after starting the day out higher. While beef prices continue to improve, cattle prices remain under pressure due to light demand and continued profit taking from the recent rally in cattle prices.



Hogs
Futures:

LEAN HOGS


High
Low
Last
Change





May '16
76.975
76.600
76.875
+0.175
Jun '16
82.900
80.850
82.825
+2.025
Jul '16
83.250
81.625
83.200
+1.525
Aug '16
82.400
80.850
82.325
+1.425
Oct '16
70.900
69.750
70.825
+1.175
Dec '16
65.375
64.650
65.275
+0.875
Feb '17
68.250
67.850
68.225
+0.425
Apr '17
71.000
70.750
70.950
+0.350
May '17


75.075
+0.250

Hog Comment


USA Rice Conducts Rice Attitudes & Usage Study on Foodservice Industry 
 ARLINGTON, VA -- USA Rice surveyed more than 300 foodservice operators to determine their current usage of U.S.-grown rice and to gain insight into the educational needs of this unique and important segment.
 The good news is that more than three quarters of the operators surveyed currently serve rice, about half know they're using U.S.-grown and a third are unsure of the origin.  In addition, half of all foodservice segments serve more rice than they did five years ago. 

"Those that don't serve rice said it's due to their type of restaurant," said Katie Maher, director of USA Rice domestic promotion programs.  "The most realistic growth prospects then will be encouraging current rice users to use more rice - either using it differently or in other meal parts."
 More than 40 percent of survey respondents said they considered breakfast an opportunity for getting more rice on the menu, and that breakfast recipes, instructions, and information would help boost usage.
 "USA Rice is in the process of developing two new breakfast recipes specifically for foodservice," Maher said.  "We're also creating recipes that combine rice with ancient grains and other trendy ingredients the respondents mentioned.  These new recipes will be finalized this month and USA Rice will use them in foodservice outreach to inspire menu innovation and showcase the culinary versatility of U.S. rice."  
 Maher said the research also showed the respondents' willingness to promote rice's nutrition claims such as the "whole grain" or "gluten-free" messages, and to include information on the "locally-grown" and "family farm" nature of U.S. grown rice on menus because they are compelling to consumers.
 "The bottom line still carries the day though for these business operators," Maher said.  "It's about culinary versatility and food costs.  Recipe concepts, preparation instructions, and information about new rice products that take this into account will most strongly fuel menu innovation that includes U.S.-grown rice."

Pakistan cannot offer trade concessions to India unilaterally

Published: May 11, 2016
Due to proximity, Pakistan is the most favourite and cost-effective market for India in terms of raw material import for their agriculture and textile products. PHOTO: FILE
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cannot offer trade concessions to India unilaterally and the latter needs to adopt a reciprocal approach, said Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir while chairing a meeting with Pakistani members of the Pak-India Business Council.The delegation, led by Yawar Ali Shah, briefed the minister on their recent visit to India and the outcome of meetings held with Indian business and trade stakeholders.
 “Trade concessions cannot be offered to India unilaterally. India also needs to provide access to Pakistani products with a preferential duty regime,” said Dastgir.
Pakistan is making all-out efforts to increase exports to India to $1 billion within a year as textile products and readymade garments have a great potential in the neighbour’s market.
“Due to proximity, Pakistan is the most favourite and cost-effective market for India in terms of raw material import for their agriculture and textile products,” said the minster. He told the delegation that the commerce ministry had restructured the National Tariff Commission (NTC) in line with the legal framework set under the guidance of the Supreme Court.
Agro-products
The delegation informed the minister that Indian food manufacturers were looking for different Pakistani agricultural products like mangoes and kinnows in specific seasons.
 “Other agricultural products like green peas could also be exported to India as they run cold storages at a far less capacity of 200,000 tons,” they said.
The businessmen were of the view that both countries should cooperate in the promotion of small and medium enterprises, agriculture, tourism and culture, research, branding of Basmati rice and visits of business groups.
Gems and jewellery
Later, a delegation of the Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association also called on the minister to discuss how to give a boost to gems and jewellery exports.
Assuring full cooperation to the association, the minister said keeping in view the potential of exports from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the government had decided to allocate a substantial budget in the next fiscal year for establishing a multibillion-rupee expo centre in Peshawar.
“To promote gem products, we will include gems exhibitions in the calendar of events of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2016

Agriculture exports fell 10% in 2015-16

This is mainly because of decline in shipments of major exportable items such as rice, buffalo meat and guargum in 2015-16. However, for a second year in a row, exports of buffalo meat exceeded that of Basmati rice.

By: Sandip Das | New Delhi | Published: May 11, 2016 6:31 AM
  •  
This is mainly because of decline in shipments of major exportable items such as rice, buffalo meat and guargum in 2015-16. However, for a second year in a row, exports of buffalo meat exceeded that of Basmati rice. (Reuters)
India’s agricultural and processed food exports fell by close to 20% in the last fiscal compared with FY15. This is mainly because of decline in shipments of major exportable items such as rice, buffalo meat and guargum in 2015-16. However, for a second year in a row, exports of buffalo meat exceeded that of Basmati rice.According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products and Export Development Authority (Apeda), the value of agri-product exports fell to R1.05 lakh crore in FY16 against R1.31 lakh crore reported in FY15. “The fall in shipments is mainly because of lower global commodity prices and sluggish demand abroad,” an official said.
Exports of buffalo meat, while declining 8% in value terms to R26,682 crore in the last fiscal, still remained the largest item in the Apeda export basket. Buffalo meat exports surpassed the value of Basmati rice exports for the first time in FY15.Shipments of the aromatic grain fell 17% by value to R22,714 crore in FY 16 mainly because of lower exports to Iran and a fall in prices. In the case of exports of non-Basmati rice, the decline was a steep 26% in terms of value.Sources said that the average realisation from Basmati exports has fallen from $1,295 per tonne in FY14 to around $850 a tonne in FY16 while for non-Basmati rice, the fall was to $350 per tonne in the last fiscal from around $450 per tonne two years earlier.“Countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, have cut down on rice import mainly because of sluggish economic growth there,” a rice exporter told FE.
Exports of guargum, mostly used by US-based oil exploration company, declined by more than 61% to Rs 3,613 crore in 2015-16 compared with Rs 9,478 crore in the previous year.
However, shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables saw a 10% rise in FY16 to Rs 8,681 crore.
Apeda monitors shipment of 22 commodities such as rice, wheat, buffalo meat, fruit and vegetables, pulses and other meat products. The authority has identified 20-odd clusters located for sustaining growth in the country’s food products’ exports. These clusters include Basmati rice (Haryana and Punjab), buffalo meat (western Uttar Pradesh), grape and wine (Nashik region, Maharashtra), pomegranate (Satara and Pune regions of Maharashtra), dehydrated onions and garlic (Gujarat), poultry or egg (Namakkal) and mango pulp (Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra).

 

Pakistan says it cannot offer ‘unilateral’ trade concessions to India

|
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif (Photo: PTI)
Pakistan Commerce Minister said that India should adopt a reciprocal approach as far trade concessions were concerned.
Islamabad: Pakistan cannot offer "unilateral" trade concessions to India, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has said, underlining that India should also provide access to Pakistani products with preferential duty regime.
Khan said this while he chaired a meeting with a delegation of Pakistani members of the Pak-India Business Council in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The delegation, led by Yawar Ali Shah, briefed the minister on their recent visit to India and the outcome of meetings held with Indian business and trade stakeholders.The minister said that India should adopt a reciprocal approach as far trade concessions were concerned.
"Trade concessions cannot be offered to India unilaterally. India also needs to provide access to Pakistani products with a preferential duty regime," Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.
He said Pakistan is making all-out efforts to increase exports to India to USD 1 billion within a year as textile products and readymade garments have a great potential in the neighbour's market.
"Due to proximity, Pakistan is the most favourite and cost-effective market for India in terms of raw material import for their agriculture and textile products," the Commerce minister said.
He told the delegation that the Commerce ministry had restructured the National Tariff Commission (NTC) in line with the legal framework set under the guidance of the Supreme Court.
The delegation informed the minister that Indian food manufacturers were looking for different Pakistani agricultural products like mangoes and kinnows in specific seasons."Other agricultural products like green peas could also be exported to India as they run cold storages at a far less capacity of 200,000 tons," they said.The businessmen were of the view that both countries should cooperate in the promotion of small and medium enterprises, agriculture, tourism and culture, research, branding of Basmati rice and visits of business groups.

 

Can’t offer unilateral trade concessions to India: Pakistan commerce minister

PTI | May 11, 2016, 07.38 PM IST
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cannot offer "unilateral" trade concessions to India, commerce minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said, underlining that India should also provide access to Pakistani products with preferential duty regime.Khan said this while he chaired a meeting with a delegation of Pakistani members of the Pak-India Business Council here on Tuesday.The delegation, led by Yawar Ali Shah, briefed the minister on their recent visit to India and the outcome of meetings held with Indian business and trade stakeholders.

The minister said that India should adopt a reciprocal approach as far trade concessions were concerned.

"Trade concessions cannot be offered to India unilaterally. India also needs to provide access to Pakistani products with a preferential duty regime," Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.

He said Pakistan is making all-out efforts to increase exports to India to $ 1 billion within a year as textile products and ready-made garments have a great potential in the neighbour's market.

"Due to proximity, Pakistan is the most favourite and cost-effective market for India in terms of raw material import for their agriculture and textile products," the commerce minister said.
He told the delegation that the Commerce ministry had restructured the National Tariff Commission (NTC) in line with the legal framework set under the guidance of the Supreme Court.


The delegation informed the minister that Indian food manufacturers were looking for different Pakistani agricultural products like mangoes and kinnows in specific seasons.
"Other agricultural products like green peas could also be exported to India as they run cold storages at a far less capacity of 200,000 tons," they said.
The businessmen were of the view that both countries should cooperate in the promotion of small and medium enterprises, agriculture, tourism and culture, research, branding of Basmati rice and visits of business groups.

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1470

 

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 10-05-2016
Product
Benchmark Indicators Name
Price
Guar Gum Powder
1
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
3700
2
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
1100
3
Indian 200 mesh 5000 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
2220
Peanuts
1
South Africa, HPS 70/80 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
2000
2
South African, HPS 40/50 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
1950
3
Argentinean 38/42 runners, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
1485
White Sugar
1
CZCE White Sugar Futures (USD/t)
832
2
Kenya Mumias white sugar, EXW (USD/t)
691
3
Pakistani refined sugar, EXW Akbari Mandi (USD/t)
583
Source:agra-net
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 09-05-2016
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Product
Market Center
Variety
Min Price
Max Price
Maize
1
Jhagadiya (Gujarat)
Other
1550
1800
2
Keshkal (Chattisgarh)
Other
1250
1300
3
Theni (Tamil Nadu)
Other
1460
1540
Paddy(Dhan)
1
Kasargod (Kerala)
Other
1400
1500
2
Attabira (Orissa)
Other
1410
1450
3
Samsi (West Bengal)
Other
1050
1070
Papaya
1
Nabha (Punjab)
Other
2000
2800
2
Solan (Himachal Pradesh)
Other
1500
2500
3
Chittorgarh (Rajasthan)
Other
800
1100
Onion
1
Jagraon (Punjab)
Other
700
750
2
Jalore (Rajasthan)
Other
800
1000
3
Bhivandi (Maharashtra)
Other
1950
2450
Egg
Rs per 100 No
Price on 10-05-2016
Product
Market Center
Price
1
Ahmedabad
413
2
Nagapur
396
3
Namakkal
390
Source: e2necc.com
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 10-05-2016
Product
Market Center
Origin
Variety
Low
High
Potatoes
Package: 50 lb cartons
1
Atlanta
Colorado
Russet
16.50
18.50
2
Chicago
Idaho
Russet
15
16
2
Detroit
Wisconsin
Russet
18
18.50
Cabbage
Package: 50 lb sacks
1
Atlanta
Florida
Round Green Type
11.50
12.50
2
Dallas
Mexico
Round Green Type
8.50
10.75
3
Miami
Florida
Round Green Type
13
15
Apples
Package: cartons tray pack
1
Atlanta
Virginia
Red Delicious
25.75
26
2
Chicago
Michigan
Red Delicious
18.50
18.50
3
Miami
Washington
Red Delicious
24
28
Source:USDA

 

Government wants students to learn climate-smart agriculture


The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said it recently trained 47 high-school teachers from various schools across the country to teach climate-smart agriculture and rice production to students in the next academic school year.The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture said the training is part of its efforts to integrate lessons on climate-smart rice agriculture in the curriculum of participating schools. The training was under the PhilRice’s Infomediary Campaign, a youth engagement in agriculture initiative.“We learned about pest management, Palayamanan Plus and other ways to improve our farming. This training is very useful for our K to 12 curriculum,” Fe de Guzman of the Vicente B. Ylagan National High School in Oriental Mindoro said in a statement.
Palayamanan Plus is the PhilRice’s key strategy to increase the income of rice-farming households. It integrates other activities aside from rice production, such as vegetable growing and farm-animal raising.

PhilRice experts also introduced teachers to climate-smart rice-production technologies, such as controlled irrigation, leaf color chart (LCC), the minus-one element technique (MOET), and drought-and submergence-tolerant rice varieties.LCC and MOET are efficient guides in nutrient management, the PhilRice said.
The LCC is a tool used to determine the nitrogen requirement of the soil, while the MOET is a simplified kit used to diagnose micronutrient deficiencies of the soil.Teachers also familiarized themselves with the rice machines developed by the PhilRice.“Two more batches of training on the same subject are slated from May 16 to 20 and from June 20 to 24. The teacher-trainees will be an addition to the Infomediary Campaign participating schools,” said Jaime A. Manalo IV, campaign team lead.
“By end-June, there will be more than 200 Infomediary Campaign participating schools nationwide,” Manalo added.The PhilRice’s Infomediary Campaign is being implemented in partnership with the Department of Education and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

 

NRRI Launches riceXpert App for Android to Help Rice Farmers

Press Trust of India , 10 May 2016
National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) has developed a mobile app for Android called riceXpert that will provide information related to farm practices, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Monday.The Android app, listed on Google Play, provides information to farmers in real-time on insect pests, nutrients, weeds, nematodes and disease-related problems, rice varieties for different ecologies, farm implements for different field and post harvest operations, he said.

The app has Web-based application systems which facilitates flow of information from the farmer to the farm scientist and get offer quick solutions. The farmers can send the photo and voice through this mobile app. This would be a real boon to farmers, he added.Singh was speaking at a farmers' fair. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Member of Parliament Bhartruhari Mahtab, ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra among others were present at the event.
Highlighting various measures taken by the Central government in the farm sector, the Agriculture Minister congratulated the team of NRRI scientists for developing this unique IT-enabled handheld mobile app and world's first high protein rice variety 'CR Dhan 210'.

The 'CR Dhan 210' variety, which has 11 percent protein in comparison to 6 percent in normal rice varieties, has been notified by the Central Varietal Release Committee for cultivation in different states in irrigated condition."It is worth noting that this Institute is working to develop rice varieties through 'Doubled Haploid' technique.

The rice varieties developed through this technique will have the yield potential equivalent or better than hybrids in one hand, and on the other hand, farmers need not to purchase the seeds every year as they can save their own seeds for next crop," the Minister added.
NRRI is a government's owned research body under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.
http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/nrri-launches-ricexpert-app-for-android-to-help-rice-farmers-835979

 

Field test on for 3 more GM crops

Among those, blight resistant potato to be released next year
Inspired by the success of the country's first commercially released biotech crop -- Bt brinjal -- in 2013, Bangladesh is now field testing three more crops developed through applications of agro-biotechnology.These are: late blight resistant potato, Bt cotton and vitamin-A enriched Golden Rice.The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit international organisation that keeps watch on production and expansion of biotech crops worldwide, said this in its latest report titled “Global Status of Commercialised Biotech/GM Crops:2015.”
Sources at the agriculture ministry and different agro-research institutions confirmed The Daily Star that the new ISAAA report, prepared marking the 20th anniversary of the commercialisation of biotech crops, would be launched at a programme in Dhaka today.
Earlier, the ISAAA had a global launch of this report in Beijing on April 13, showcasing the global increase in biotech acreage from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 179.7 million hectares in 2015. This 100-fold increase in just 20 years makes biotechnology the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times, reflecting farmer satisfaction with biotech crops, it said.
 The ISAAA, governed by an international board of directors, is composed of three centres: the AfriCenter in Nairobi, Kenya; AmeriCenter, Ithaca, New York; and the SEAsiaCenter in Los BaƱos, the Philippines.
The ISAAA report said, “Success with Bt brinjal has led Bangladesh to prioritise the field testing of a new late blight resistant potato [an important crop occupying 0.5 million hectares in Bangladesh] which could be approved as early as 2017.”Potato is the fourth most important food staple globally and with an annual output of nine million tonnes, Bangladesh is now a potato exporting country.Once released, the RB (blight resistant) potato will be farmers' answer to late blight, one of the most devastating plant diseases caused by fungal attack, Rafiqul Islam Mondal, director general of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), told The Daily Star. He is optimistic that the biotech potato will get regulatory approval by 2017.

Farmers in Bangladesh spend up to Tk 100 crore a year in spraying 500 tonnes of fungicide to protect this major tuber crop.“Given the importance of the large cotton/textile industry in Bangladesh, Bt cotton is being evaluated in field trials as well as Golden Rice, which could address the prevalent Vitamin A deficiency in the country,” stated the ISAAA report.
The Bt cotton seeds are infused with genetic traits taken from a soil-dwelling bacterium -- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) -- that effectively fights bollworm, a harmful caterpillar responsible for damaging cotton yields.Each year Bangladesh grows a paltry 0.15 million bales of cotton and spends up to Tk 20,000 crore for importing over 5 million bales more to meet the demand, said Cotton Development Board (CDB) Executive Director Farid Uddin.

Industry sources said typical synthetic pesticides have become increasingly ineffective in fighting cotton bollworm, thereby causing up to 20 percent crop losses. Cotton growers' expenditure on pesticides accounts for 40 percent of the total production costs.
“China is just one example of biotechnology's benefits for farmers in developing countries. Between 1997 and 2014, biotech cotton varieties brought an estimated $17.5 billion worth of benefits to Chinese cotton farmers, and they realised $1.3 billion in 2014 alone,” explained ISAAA Global Coordinator Randy Hautea.Also in 2015, India became the leading cotton producer in the world with much of its growth attributed to biotech Bt cotton. India is the largest biotech cotton country in the world with 11.6 million hectares planted in 2015 by 7.7 million small farmers. In 2014 and 2015, an impressive 95 percent of India's cotton crop was planted with biotech seed; China's adoption in 2015 was 96 percent.

Meanwhile, scientists at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) told The Daily Star that on completion of a successful trial of the genetically engineered Golden Rice at the transgenic screen house of BRRI, they have taken the biotech rice -- GR-2 E BRRI dhan29 -- to confined field trials late last year.As follow-up steps, open-field and multi-location trials would be conducted, setting into motion the last stage for its release to the farmers, they added.
Along with two other rice varieties (IR-64, a variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute, and RC-28, a Filipino variety), BRRI Dhan-29, one of Bangladesh's most productive rice varieties, has been genetically engineered to have greater expressions of a corn gene responsible for producing beta carotene (also known as pro-vitamin A). This has been widely publicised as Golden Rice for its yellowish colour.

Rice does not contain any beta carotene. Dependence on rice as the predominant food source, therefore, necessarily leads to Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), most severely affecting small children and pregnant women.Consumption of only 150 gram of Golden Rice a day is expected to supply half of the recommended daily intake (RDA) of vitamin A for an adult. People in Bangladesh depend on rice for 70 percent of their daily calorie intakes.According to World Health Organisation (WHO) global database on vitamin A deficiency, one in every five pre-school children in Bangladesh is vitamin A-deficient. Among pregnant women, 23.7 percent suffer from the deficiency.

The IRRI says VAD is the main cause of preventable blindness in children and globally, some 6.7 million children die every year and another 3,50,000 go blind because they are vitamin A-deficient.Referring to doubling of Bt brinjal acreage from 12 hectares in 2014 to 25 hectares in 2015, the ISAAA credited the success to Bangladesh's political will, particularly from Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury.

It said, “Importantly, seed [Bt brinjal] is now being multiplied to meet the growing needs of substantially more farmers in 2016.”“Since 1996, 2 billon hectares of arable land -- a massive area more than twice the landmass of China or the United States -- have been planted with biotech crops. Additionally, it is estimated that farmers in up to 28 countries have reaped more than US$150 billion in benefits from biotech crops since 1996. This has helped alleviate poverty for up to 16.5 million small farmers and their families annually totalling about 65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world,” said the ISAAA report.
http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/field-test-3-more-gm-crops-1222411

Labana Rice Farm: Biggest Rice Farm Along River Niger And Benue Valley

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The launch of the federal government’s Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme which is a financial model for small holder farmers has sparked off agricultural activities, particularly rice cultivation in the states. The CBN loan package to farmers has brought out the commitment in farmers and propelled them into massive production of rice in the state, writes YAHYA SARKI.

When President Muhammadu Buhari unfolded the dry season rice and wheat farming in the state, alongside the launching of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme in November 2015, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State made a pledge to the president that with the launch Kebbi farmers will be able to produce one million tonnes of rice annually.Bagudu promised to also roll out similar agriculture loan packages from the state government to support the president’s economic diversification drive in agriculture.
In order to support the drive in Kebbi towards meeting the one million tonnes of rice target as well as producing enough paddy rice for its rice mills, Labana Rice  Mills in Kebbi State set up the Labana Rice Farms to engage in large scale mechanised farming of rice crop.
The rice mill which was established in Birnin Kebbi in January 2006 is a subsidiary of Labana Global Ventures. The rice mill has state of art machinery just like the ones being used in India and Thailand. It also has the capacity to produce 16 tonnes of rice per hour which translates to 320 tonnes of rice per day.

Unveiling the biggest rice farmland along the valley of River Niger and Benue
A recent visit by LEADERSHIP to some rice farms in Argungu and Bagudo local government areas of Kebbi State has  brought to the fore the zeal, determination and commitment of farmers to engage in crop production, especially rice.

Of all the farms lands visited, the most striking was that of the Labana Rice Farm at Genten Tudu area of Kwalla village in Bagudo local government area of Kebbi State where over 1,400 hectares of land has been cleared for the cultivation of high breed rice, putting into use over 400 hectares, representing just 20 per cent of the total land used for the cultivation of rice.
The chief surveyor of Labana Farm, Auwal Garba,  explained that modern technology was used in taking the topography of the area.

“If you are engaging in modern farming involving large hectares of land, you will have to start by taking the topography to determine the up land and low land and to determine the space for moving the machinery,” he said.
An expert in agriculture and water resources from the Sokoto Rima River, under the Niger Valley Irrigation in Bagudu, Nasiru Modi, attested to the fact that the rice cultivation undertaken by Labana is the biggest irrigation farming project in the whole of the River valley area, covering over 200 hectares with gradual efforts to consume the whole 1,400 land mass. He explained that along the valley of River Niger and Benue, there exist 11, 600 kilometers of irrigable land from both upland and lowland.

“As you can see we have 11,600 kilometers of irrigable land in the valley of Niger and Benue and so far the labana rice project, taking over 1,000 hectares of land is the biggest in the area, according to our findings, because all the existing rice cultivations we have along the valley ranges from 30, 40 up to 50 hectares carried out by small association of farmers. Last year , a total of 500 hectares was cultivated up to Yauri area before the advent of these Labana Rice Farm.

“But hopefully with the introduction of the CBN Anchor Borrowers programme and the extensive farming by Labana, this year alone, up to 10,000 hectares of rice will be cultivated in this area alone. The subsidy from the CBN had really pushed and assisted lot of people in farming,” he said.
LEADERSHIP observed that even in the scorching sun heavy machinery were engaged in clearing over 1,000 hectares with about 100 labourers engaged in various activities. At the pheriphry of the rice farm, also were planters and harvesting machines waiting for their time. At the right side of the farm, the beautiful lush green rice can be seen growing in stanzas with flowing water passing through the constructed ridges from the channels. And just at the middle of the farm, two big pumping machines of 250 kilowatts were pumping water through a big channel which runs down to smaller channels of water running throughout the farm.
The farm coordinator, Alhaji Dodo Aliero, explained the importance of using modern machinery in the farm as well as the types of rice species used.

Aliero was full of optimism that by next year the total land area covering 2,000 hectares will be fully cultivated with rice since the federal government and Kebbi State has fully provided the necessary support.The general manager of Labana Rice Mills, Abdullahi Zuru, stated that Labana Rice Mills and Labana Rice Farms are all subsidiaries of Labana Global ventures and that Labana Rice Farms was born out of the need to produce enough paddy rice that will meet the production demand of Labana Rice Mills as well as sell the excess to other potential markets and even abroad. Zuru also told LEADERSHIP that the aim of setting up Labana Rice Farms was to support local production of rice in line with the president’s economic diversification drive in the agriculture sector.

“You know that the president came to Kebbi State last year and launched the CBN Anchor Borrowers programme to ignite massive production of rice in Kebbi and other states because Nigeria needs about 6 to7 million tonnes of rice annually to feed its people. This is not an easy task so with the support from the CBN, already we have farmers who are willing and committed and they have the zeal and determination to help the president achieve that target.
“Kebbi alone is targeting one million tonnes of rice annually, what you have seen today is that we at Labana and rest of our farmers are ready to reach that target. If you observe now, the number of farmers in the irrigation of rice have tripled because of the CBN support,” he said.
The general manager was optimistic that with more and more people taking up rice farming in Kebbi, the one million tonne target set by Kebbi will be achieved with the support from the CBN and the Kebbi State Government.

“The CBN allocated about 5,000  rice out growers, with Sterling Bank for the transaction, to us. We also have 1,250 farmers, who are not covered by the CBN loan programme, that we support and equally help with seeds, watering machines and fertiliser. We saw as a big challenge the flagging off of the rice and wheat dry season farming as well as the launching of the CBN loan scheme by the president to enhance the production of rice in Kebbi and decided to take up the challenge to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production. That is why we have rolled out this extensive rice irrigation farm in Kebbi. Our ultimate goal is not just to produce rice but not to wait for farmers to bing the rice to us but to produce enough rice at Labana Farms,” Zuru said